1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Robin Zielhorst releases first solo bass playthrough video

Discussion in 'News & PR' started by TalkBass, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. TalkBass

    TalkBass News Poster

    Mar 12, 2004
    Dutch bass player Robin Zielhorst recorded 4 instrumental pieces for solo bass. Robin is known for his work with Cynic (US progmetal legends), Exivious (Dutch fusionmetal), Our Oceans (Dutch ambient pop), OneGodLess (Dutch stonergroovemetal) and various side projects and studio recordings.

    Besides his usual characteristic fretless bass playing, with these 4 pieces for solo bass he focused on fretted bass, using various techniques to create hauntingly beautiful ambient music. This video is the first of four playthrough videos that will be released this month.

    You can find the playthrough here:

    The 4 solo pieces can be found on YouTube through the following link:

    Next to these recordings, Robin is working on the release of OneGodLess' debut album, which will be released in May 2017. The first single was released on February 6th. You can find it through this link.

    Attached Files:

    desert_rain and TalHaz like this.
  2. AztecViking

    AztecViking Supporting Member

    Oct 12, 2010
    EndlessSummerVille, CA
    I really like his fretless playing with Exivious and Cynic but these vids still beat the recent Warwick video where the guy didn't even play one note on the bass. :)
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
  3. Jeffrey Wash

    Jeffrey Wash Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2011
    Santa Cruz
    These videos give me hope for the future of bass playing! It's great to hear someone actually composing for the bass instrument. So much of what I hear/see in the way of bass 'solo' pieces strikes me as having been created solely for the purpose of impressing other bass players! (And/or passersby at the NAMM Show). These little pieces RZ has written are a refreshing contrast; compositionally strong enough to the degree that they could easily be adapted for other instruments - piano, gtr, etc - and they could still sound as wonderful. I don't think you can say the same about the lion's share of bass solo music currently being produced.

    Beautiful music - well done, RZ!
    f4llens and Mystic Michael like this.
  4. I love Robin's playing on the Our Oceans album, awesome to hear more of his compositions.
  5. gravesbass

    gravesbass Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2006
    San Jose, CA
    Endorsing Artist: MesaBoogie-SpectorBass-Dunlop-EMG Pickups-Darkglass-Hipshot
    Robin's a great player. Love his work with Cynic and Exivious.
    AztecViking likes this.
  6. JW_Manhattan

    JW_Manhattan Banned

    Feb 8, 2017
    Mmmm.... Smooth Jazz. Where's Kenny G?

  7. I apologize for OT from the start but I listened to some of this player`s stuff available on youtube..
    It`s OK but i`m not impressed....many of his "playthroughs" sound the same to me...same harmonies, same techniques which a re not that hard to figure...

    On the other hand, Sean Malone, the original (and current) Cynic bass player, (although heavily influenced by Gary Willis) is in a differenet class..

    Sean Malone is an American musician who plays primarily fretless bass guitar and Chapman Stick. However, Malone also plays piano, keyboards, and guitar. Malone did a number of session jobs for various bands and musicians. He is most famous for his work in American band Cynic, in which he developed a strong partnership with the drummer Sean Reinert. Malone and Reinert played on several records together outside Cynic, making them one of the most favorable modern progressive rhythm sections.

    After the band's first split-up, Malone has continued to work as a session bassist, performing on over fifty records to date. He has also authored four books, "Music Theory for Bassists", "Dictionary Of Bass Grooves", "Rock Bass", and "A Portrait of Jaco: The Solos Collection" (a book of transcriptions of Jaco Pastorius' bass solos) for the Hal Leonard Corporation. In the academic field, Malone has papers on theory and music cognition published and given presentations at conferences such as the Society for Music Theory, The International Conference of Music and Gesture, and The Glenn Gould Conference, and has taught at the University of Central Missouri and Carnegie Mellon University as assistant professor of music theory.

    (Bass solo @ 2:23)

    And some Cynic work...

  8. Jeffrey Wash

    Jeffrey Wash Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2011
    Santa Cruz
    Hey Stratro - S Malone is indeed a fantastic fretless player. Can definitely hear the Jaco and the Gary Willis influences. He is, without question, a virtuoso. He can play things on his bass that many others cannot. Does that make him a superior musician to R Zielhorst? Not IMHO. Listening to that first video, I know that, as a bassist myself, I'm supposed to be "blown away" by S Malone's chops and consequently motivated to spend hours practicing to play at an equally virtuosic level. But honestly, I found that first video terribly boring. Not because I don't like him as a player, but because I've just heard it all before: that style of progressive jazz-fusion that is all about creating pieces of busy, intricate musical ensemble sections sandwiched between other really impressive solo sections. And beyond that... beyond me being impressed with the virtuosity of it... well, that style of 'composing' just doesn't hold my interest anymore.

    The comment about RZ's stuff being "...not that hard to figure..." was interesting to me; there are a lot of fellow bassists out there who are quick to put down another bassist if he is playing something that they, themselves can also play! That kind of perspective is a bit baffling to me. I'm not an advocate of "simpler is better" - it isn't about simplicity vs complexity - but what I liked (and still do) about those little R Zielhorst pieces is the way they make me feel as a listener first, as bassist second (if that makes sense).

    I was once really motivated by Jaco's version of Bach's Chromatic Fantasy. It inspired me to learn to play it and, in so doing, made me a better player. Thank you, Jaco! But over time I've heard that same piece of music played by hundreds of different musicians and I have to confess that Jaco's recording - with it's emphasis on speed and the novelty of doing it on the bass - is now one of my least favorite recordings of this piece of music.

    It just goes to show: different strokes for different folks. If S Malone's music motivates other bassists to get the coffee on and get practicing, then who am I to judge? We are only here for a short time and hat's off to anyone who can follow their passion and make a living doing so. But I do think it's OK to slow down and explore a mood every once in awhile, perhaps create something - with a bass guitar - that isn't trying desperately to impress.
  9. I really enjoyed reading your reply and i respect your point of view.

    I must stress that the album Cortlandt by Sean Malone is recorded 20 years ago. (1996). He also collaborated with Mike Portnoy and Kevin Moore on the first OSI album...but this material in general is far below his abilities..

    As for Chromatic fantasy i did a take myself too..but rearranged it for 6 string bass...:)
    This is far from my best performances (and mixings) but i`m still lacking time to re record it again.

    As for myself, although im heavily influenced by John Patitucci, Gary Willis and Jaco and i really like the level of playing by some new cats (Malaman, Braguinha, Linder, Feraud) i also listen a lot of Coltrane, Miles, Monk, McCoy..all the way to to Sting, Peter Gabriel and even some industrial music.

    As you put it... different strokes for different folks.
    Billybladez66 and JW_Manhattan like this.
  10. JW_Manhattan

    JW_Manhattan Banned

    Feb 8, 2017
    Kind of what I was saying... I've heard high school classical guitarists playing more difficult music, and pulling it off at a higher level.

    was like "camp-fire" doodling.

    But I suppose the core audience of this bassist has an extremely narrow music listening experience - not unlike most people. So therefore, they are "impressed" cuz it sounds "classical", and look how high up the neck he's playing.


    However, far more impressive than the bloke with the New Warwick Fretless Million String Bass, that he never played. That was LAME.
  11. Jeffrey Wash

    Jeffrey Wash Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2011
    Santa Cruz
    Hey Stratro - good post! Sounds like we have some common musical ground. I like the modulation you did on the Intro to Chromatic Fantasy. That was unexpected, a nice surprise!
    Stratro likes this.
  12. Link?
  13. JW_Manhattan

    JW_Manhattan Banned

    Feb 8, 2017
  14. ReiPsaeg


    Dec 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
    Stop being so goddamn competitive, everybody. This is art, not sports. Can't we just appreciate Robin Zeilhorst's music for what it is? Sean Malone is great, and I think his playing can speak for itself in it's own thread.
    onosson and Jeffrey Wash like this.
  15. What JW Manhattan and myself are saying is not about competitiveness...it`s about stressing the quality of bass players TalkBass.com chose to write about...

    Here`s a small list (in random order) of awesome young bass players that deserve real credit..(feel free to write about why you disagree, i`m not writing this to argue with anybody):

    And..myself of course..:roflmao:
    JW_Manhattan likes this.
  16. JW_Manhattan

    JW_Manhattan Banned

    Feb 8, 2017
    Mohini Dey absolutely blows away BOTH of the aforementioned blockheads.
  17. Jeffrey Wash

    Jeffrey Wash Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2011
    Santa Cruz
    Is this what it really comes down to for many of the folks on TB? Is it really all about how much sass you have when you look into the camera and play your licks? Shake your head from side to side and whip out a few cool riffs and instantly you are afforded STATURE as an AMAZING BASSIST? Really? Hollow virtuosity will always trump any kind of thoughtful musical development/composition?

    This is one of the most disappointing threads I've encountered on TB. I stand by my previous posts; I think it takes some courage to do what R Zielhorst has done: to create some music on a bass guitar that isn't solely conceived for the purpose of impressing other bassists. To de-emphasize virtuosity (even if only temporarily...). To explore a mood - a feeling - on a bass guitar without a central emphasis on chops, speed, etc.

    I will confess that when I WATCH many of these videos - (as posted above) H. Feraud, Day By Dey, F Malaman, etc - I often get pulled in and find myself ooh'ing and ah'ing over the amazing abilities of many of these fine bass players. However, IF I LOOK AWAY - if I just LISTEN to the music instead of LOOKING AT IT - well, truth be told: IT BORES THE CRAP OUT OF ME.

    I'm not saying virtuosity is a bad thing. I'm not saying speed, chops and theatricality are unmusical. I'm simply trying to say that MUSIC - whether it's played on a bass guitar or whether it's played on a Badgermin - is a form of human expression; it's an ART, not a competitive sport.
  18. Well said again, but imagine where the bass world would be today if Jaco didn`t pick up his JB and play Donna Lee or Chromatic fantasy decades ago? Or Anthony Jackson adding extra 2 strings on his bass to create the 6 string bass?

    It may be the composers that push the boundaries of music in general, but it`s the virtuosos that push the boundaries of the instrument..

    And that equally matters, especially on an instrument biased forum like TB.
    Jeffrey Wash likes this.
  19. JW_Manhattan

    JW_Manhattan Banned

    Feb 8, 2017
    More sittin' around the campfire noodling:

  20. Jeffrey Wash

    Jeffrey Wash Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2011
    Santa Cruz
    You make very good points! Agreed - the thing about Jaco that is often overlooked is that he was also a very good composer. The virtuoso players who hold my interest are almost always those who have developed their writing skills to an equally advanced level. I would have loved to hear how Jaco's writing and arranging would have continued to develop had he not died so tragically young. But he continues to inspire...
    AztecViking likes this.

Share This Page